“Branding isn’t just about the colour of the curtains;
it’s about whether the roof keeps the rain out at night.”

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There are in fact 4 key components that make the Living BrandBrand component 1: The Proposition

Specific elements within visual and/or oral promotional material that can be defined as an “Invitation to Treat”. (A legal term for any proposition designed to entice the target to experience the product or any element of the product.)

Key variables:

– market standard and competitor specific propositions;
– distinct positioning requirements.

Brand component 2: The Unique Property

Any visual and/or oral presentation or promotion of the brand: the visual experience of brand material both pre and post purchase – excluding actual product usage. This includes company initiatives and third party presentation such as word-of-mouth.

Key variables:

Positioning: the strategic positioning of the property is dictated by the following variables:

macro market current positioning
macro market brand reality
competitor positioning
current market hassle factors
available communication channels
available triggering strategies
head purchase category.

Brand component 3: Product Usage

The sense elements applied and experienced; and the resulting perception and attitude through product usage.

Key variables:

Limitations and opportunities to enhance product usage experience.

The key components are:

Component 3a: Product Attributes.
Component 3b: Product Positive.
Component 3c: Product Negative.
Component 3d: Product Inert.

Component 3a: Product Attributes

These are elements of the product that in their sum and interaction provide the product entity. Some attributes are inert, some generate the product positives and some can be negative.

Component 3b: Product Positive

These are elements of the product that are perceived to be of benefit to the purchaser and/or end user of the product: generally referred to as product benefits.

Component 3c: Product Negative

These are elements of the product that are perceived to be negative to the purchaser and/or end user of the product. Some are a natural consequence of positive benefits (e.g. hangover after night out), some are unavoidable (giving money and credit card details during purchase, effort in finding way into packaging) and some can be reduced (e.g. through attention to the Hassle Factor): parts of which are sometimes referred to as Dissonance.

Component 3d: Product Inert

A product element that is not positive or negative but simply part of the product entity. An inert element may be null, threaten negativity either directly or by clouding a positive element; or it may possess the potential to become a positive element. An inert element may often offer an undiscovered extra-dimensional aspect to a product.

Brand component 4: Critical Mass

The critical level of mass will depend on the market characteristics such as size, buying frequency and number of competitors. Mass provides momentum and autogenic activity.

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